Trudeaus showered with designer gifts
NDP: Presents ‘problematic’
OTTAWA — A pair of Rayban sunglasses. A limited edition, painted leather clutch. Beauty products, glittering jewelry, shoes, luggage, children’s clothing, sporting accessories.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, are regularly showered with lavish gifts from world leaders and dignitaries, often as a matter of protocol.
But a growing trend among the high-priced offerings to the prime ministerial family are gifts from private companies — clothing and accessories from Canadian designers hoping the famous family will sport their wares in public.
Canada’s ethics watchdog, Mario Dion, says all the gifts listed on the prime minister’s public gift registry have been cleared by his office and are compliant with the rules of the Conflict of Interest Act.
But NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus says he believes these corporate gifts are “problematic.”
“What’s concerning is fashion labels sending clothes to the family, because this is a family that is very much in the spotlight, very much in the world of Instagram and there would be a very real benefit for a company to have them sporting their clothing labels as gifts,” he said.
“The connection to the pecuniary interests of those companies is clear and direct.”
All gifts to public office holders over $200 must be publicly declared. Anything over $1,000 must be forfeited to the Crown, although they can be retained if the public office holder pays the difference.
Justin Trudeau wears P.e.i.-made sunglasses from Fellow Earthlings eyewear.